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Newcastle could find their own Robin van Persie in Cody Gakpo

Newcastle United are believed to be showing an interest in PSV Eindhoven starlet, Cody Gakpo, albeit with the Magpies set to face notable competition for the Dutchman’s signature.

What’s the word?

According to The Chronicle, sporting director Dan Ashworth was reportedly keeping tabs on the 23-year-old prior to his recent sparkling displays at the World Cup, although the St James’ Park outfit are said to still be scouting the forward in Qatar.

The report suggests that the 6 foot 4 ace – who was linked with a move to the northeast back in the summer – is on a ‘long list of potential signings’ for manager Eddie Howe, albeit with the Premier League outfit fully aware that they will have a real battle on their hands to secure a deal amid rampant rival interest.

The 12-cap sensation has been the centre of intense speculation regarding a possible move to Manchester United, with journalist Fabrizio Romano having recently stated that the winger is “expected to leave” his current side in 2023.

A move will certainly not come cheap for any interested party, however, with the Eredivisie side said to value their prize asset at around €50m (£43m).

Howe’s own Van Persie

The dynamic youngster has emerged on the radar of clubs across Europe as a result of his relentless run of form in recent times for both club and country, having notably scored 13 goals and provided 17 assists in just 24 games for Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side so far this season.

That ridiculous hot streak has ensured that the fleet-footed gem’s overall record for his side now stands at 105 goal involvements in just 159 games in all competitions with it no surprise to see him dubbed a “real talent” by compatriot Nigel de Jong.

That impact has now been replicated in the view of the wider world with Gakpo having lit up the ongoing tournament in Qatar, having scored three goals in his opening three group games to help steer Louis van Gaal’s men into the knockout stages.

Not only a ruthless machine in front of goal, the “unreal” gem – as described by Statman Dave – has also illustrated his quality as a creative figure after averaging 1.7 key passes per game in the competition so far, while also putting in the hard yards defensively as he averages an impressive 1.3 tackles per game in his attacking berth.

As an emerging Dutch superstar who can feature both on the flanks and in a more central role, the Eindhoven-born sensation – who has averaged a remarkable 7.57 match rating at the World Cup, as per Sofascore – has unsurprisingly led to comparisons to a certain Robin van Persie, with Gakpo himself stating:

“He’s a legendary player in the Netherlands and in the whole world. It’s an honour for me to be compared to him, but at the end of the day I’m my own player. I have to prove myself and do my best.”

The now-retired Van Persie – who previously lauded the younger man as a “dangerous” player – memorably enjoyed a glittering spell in the Premier League in which he scored 144 goals and laid on 53 assists in 280 games for both the Red Devils and Arsenal, having joined the north Londoners from Feyenoord in 2004.

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The former title-winner was also something of a talisman for his country – much like Gakpo is becoming – after scoring 50 goals in 102 games at international level, including six goals in 17 games at the World Cup finals, having also made the transition from playing in his homeland to starring in English football.

Were Howe and co able to snap up a Van Persie-esque talent it would surely be a notable club for the club, with the aforementioned Ashworth simply needing to do all he can try and get to the front of the queue for the PSV man’s signature.